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Management Fads in Higher Education: Where They Come From, What They Do, Why They Fail

ISBN: 978-0-7879-4456-8
320 pages
August 2000, Jossey-Bass
Management Fads in Higher Education: Where They Come From, What They Do, Why They Fail (0787944564) cover image

Description

"Management fads in higher education will never be the same. Birnbaum's penetrating analysis reveals in the clearest possible terms why fads die an early death."
--Burton R. Clark, Allan M. Carter Professor Emeritus of Higher Education and Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles

"Anyone in higher education leadership should read this critical and amusing book. It goes much further than the dull descriptions of management techniques for universities and colleges. It is fair, convincing, and well documented."
--Frans van Vught, Rector Magnificus, University of Twente, The Netherlands

When is a management innovation truly a good idea, and when is it only a fad? In this thoughtful book, Robert Birnbaum scrutinizes the rise and fall of management fads in higher education since the 1960s. He shows administrators and faculty how to move beyond the hype of new fads to make wise, informed decisions and adopt sound management policies.

Birnbaum begins by analyzing the historical development of seven major management systems in higher education. From these histories, he develops a model for understanding the life cycle of management innovations, including their creation, development, and eventual adoption or abandonment. He then explains the social and environmental factors that make institutions vulnerable to fads, plus the psychological issues that may lead academic managers to support failing fads. This comprehensive resource is for anyone who wants to understand how management innovations can be used to strengthen the educational and social purposes of higher education.

To read the first chapter of this book, Seeking the Grail: The Never-Ending Quest, click here.
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Table of Contents

DEVELOPING ACADEMIC MANAGEMENT FADS.

Seeking the Grail: The Never-Ending Quest.

We're From the Government and We're Here to Help Planning Programming Budgeting System (PPBS): More Bang for the Buck Management by Objectives (MBO): The Illusion of Empowerment Zero Base Budgeting (ZBB): Denying History.

Survival in a Changing Environment Strategic Planning: The Grand Name Without the Grand Thing Benchmarking: Why Not the Best?

Higher Education as a Commodity Total Quality Management/Continuous Quality Improvement (TQM/CQI): Every Day, in Every Way, Getting Better and Better Business Process Reengineering (BPR): Starting from Scratch.

UNDERSTANDING ACADEMIC MANAGEMENT FADS.

The Life Cycle of Academic Management Fads.

Organizations and Fads.

Managers and Fads.

WORKING WITH ACADEMIC MANAGEMENT FADS.

The Legacy of Fads.

Managing Fads.
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Author Information

ROBERT BIRNBAUM is professor of higher education at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he teaches and writes about higher academic leadership and organization. He was previously vice chancellor of the City University of New York, vice chancellor of the New Jersey Department of Higher Education, and chancellor of the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. He is also author, coauthor, and editor of numerous articles and books, including How Academic Leadership Works and How Colleges Work.
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Reviews

"Vintage Birnbaum--crisp and ironic, with a contrarian touch. Management fads in higher education will never be the same. Birnbaum's penetrating analysis reveals in the clearest possible terms why fads die an early death."(Burton R. Clark, Allan M. Cartter Professor Emeritus of Higher Education and Sociology, University of California, Los Angeles)

"College and university leaders will welcome Bob Birnbaum's new book, Management Fads in Higher Education, largely because the environment for learning is changing so swiftly. It has become increasingly difficult to separate passing fads from best-practice imperatives. Birnbaum's analysis will be helpful to those who must strain to discern the distinction."(Stanley O. Ikenberry, president, American Council on Education)

"This study will provide chapter and verse for university mid-rank administrators and their faculty colleagues who have to absorb and react to the latest Bright Idea imposed on the system by business-oriented members of the board or state legislature. In showing how such fads have come and gone in the past forty years, Birnbaum also indicates that change has to take the university culture into account: its politics, its working consensus, and--most of all--its values."(Mary Burgan, general secretary, American Association of University Professors)

"Anyone in higher education leadership should read this critical and amusing book. It goes much further than the dull descriptions of management techniques for universities and colleges. It is fair, convincing, and well documented."(Frans van Vught, Rector Magnificus, University of Twente, The Netherlands)
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